Minister of Sport Namal Rajapaksa claims the decisions reached to re-open the country in a systematic manner were not taken solely by the government but was reached after considering the advice of health authorities.
Responding to a question raised by media in Kandy, pertaining to permission granted for inter-provincial transport amidst the prevailing COVID-19 situation, Minister Rajapaksa said the best solution is to gradually re-open the country while the COVID vaccination drive is being successfully implemented.
The Minister said various COVID variants including the Delta strain are not limited to Sri Lanka as it is a global pandemic.
He said all world leaders believe that vaccination is the only solution for the prevailing pandemic adding other countries have lifted lockdowns after vaccinating a majority of citizens above the age of 30.
Minister Rajapaksa claimed even though there are disagreements between health officials, majority are of the stance that more COVID cases will be reported when country is reopened after a lengthy lockdown.
The Minister said the country’s economy must be strengthened in order to meet the demands such as the teachers’ call for an increase in salaries.
He said the President and the Prime Minister along with government are attempting to manage these matters by systematically reopening the country.
Minister Rajapaksa said the present administration has created a program and a background to resolve issues including the salary anomalies of teachers and principals.
The Minister said the government’s attention had been directed towards the issues faced by teachers adding the matter is also mentioned in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy statement.
He however said when implementing the solution, it must be done so by working together with the Salaries and Carder Commission and other independent institutions adding attention must also be directed towards the country’s and global economy.
The Minister claimed as a policy the government believes teachers’ and principals’ salary anomalies must be resolved.